Sometimes being a “Rabbi Mom” is no fun

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Look above. That is my oldest daughter M. Cute punim, huh?

Today was one of those days where I set out to be uber productive, now its after lunch and I feel like I am in a slump.

Why? Well being self-employed and an entrepreneur affords me the flexibility of being able to pick up the cute punim from camp. Usually she wants to go play at home and is easily distracted but today she wanted me to stay. Really bad.

I had to get back to the office for some meetings and well, to write this blog post, and of course I told her I could not stay. I really wanted to, like, really badly. But, I was strong, and I gave her a kiss after hugging and snuggling her for a few minutes and I walked out of the door.

Door clicked shut. My heart sank.

It is hard being a working mom, a working parent. It is hard to feel like you are letting your kids down when all they want is for you to stay on the couch snuggling and watching a very riveting episode of Paw Patrol. So how do we manage the emotional roller coaster of parenting without being so hard on ourselves each time we have to say no to our kids?

My husband is a super supporter and cheerleader of my work with OJL and my work as a rabbi in general. He is awesome. Whenever I am feeling down and upset about leaving the kids to work he reminds me how important my work is: not just to my students and families that we serve, but to me, to him, to our family-especially to our two little girls.

So on those days where my girls-M and G say “Mama pleeeeeeassee stay home,” and I know I could, but really do have to get some work done, I need my cheerleader-well, he would probably want to be called a supporter rather than a cheerleader :), I need my support system-whether it be my husband, my other mom friends, my family, to keep pushing me towards my goal. I want to be a great example of being a hard worker for my kids-both out of the house with my career but also in the house with the way I interact with them when I am not working.

This is starting to sound like a bit of a messy rant, but I just want to share with those of you out there who sometimes feel sad when they leave their kids, or sad that they are not working, or feel like you are being a “crappy” parent for leaving, or a “crappy” parent for not working, we are all going through the same thing.

I often talk to some of my mom friends who have chosen to stay at home full time. They tell me that the grass is always greener when I kvetch to them about not being with my kids enough. We all have our issues, our kvetches, the things we wish we could do better. We, well at least I can speak for myself-have the kvetching part down pat. What we need to work on is self-compassion and love. We are parents-that is pretty amazing in itself.

So this is a reminder for all of us-myself included-whether you are working, or at home, a parent, or even not, to be kind to ourselves. Have some rachmones (compassion) and try and treat ourselves with the love, kindness, compassion, and gentleness that we would treat our children.

And besides, Paw Patrol is on demand-so maybe we even give in and watch one more episode while snuggling with our little ones on the couch when we get home. :)

Thanks for reading!